Photography by Trevor Smith

Tasya Van Ree

Artist/Photographer | Hollywood

When oversize cowboy hats reach “daily uniform” status, you’re bound to attract some attention. Ditto, if you can file creative cool girls Amber Heard and Caroline Vreeland under “former life partners.” But really, artist and photographer Tasya Van Ree doesn’t need any bells or whistles to get people talking; her art inspires a conversation in and of itself— be it her more recent color-drenched butterfly series (a tribute to modern femininity) or her ever-growing archive of black-and-white portraits— many of them voyeuristic in nature, and featuring celebrities like Michelle Rodriguez, Katherine Moennig and the artist’s aforementioned lover (and long-time muse), Heard. Perceptibly grounded, if not prophetic in person, Van Ree was raised in Hawaii where she spent more time surfing than she did snapping (photos, that is). Perhaps it’s in her roots, then, that she’s able to so masterfully strip subjects of any “pomp and circumstance” (ahem, think “Hollywood” persona) in favor of capturing the intimate, raw and real. At the moment, her body of work includes mixed media, drawings, paintings and film as well as photography; unsurprisingly, it has “It” babes everywhere fangirling (Langley Fox and Isabel Lucas included). Here, Van Ree sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal her little black book on LA.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: The Ivy (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x)— they have the best ribs in town.

COFFEE OR TEA: Matcha at Alfred on Melrose Place (MAP IT, x) because they’re one of the only places in LA that serves it!

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Urasawa in Beverly Hills (MAP IT, BOOK ITx)— the toro just melts in your mouth.

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: The Sophia (Del Meguey Vida Mezcal, Campari, agave and fresh lime juice) at Bar Stella (MAP IT, x).


LADIES LUNCH: Chateau Marmont (MAP IT, x)— the garden there flows of fresh air and fresh ideas.

MUSIC PICK: I still love the Troubador (MAP IT, x) for live shows.

BEST BRUNCH: Republique (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x)— they have the best breakfast sandwich.

BEST PEOPLE WATCHING: The farmer’s market on Third and Fairfax (MAP IT, x). 

HEALTHY STAPLE: Erewhon (MAP IT, x)— everything in the hot food section.

GUITLY PLEASURE: Fatburger (MAP IT, x). I get a “Baby Fat” with bacon and cheese.

LA’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: Croft Alley (MAP IT, x)— the best tuna melt!


REGULAR AT: The Last Bookstore in Downtown LA (MAP IT, x). I like to peruse their arts/rare books section. I go at least a couple of times a month. It’s inspiring and conceptually interesting.

DATE NIGHT STANDBY: Cafe Stella (MAP IT, x); it’s very French. 

DELIVERY GO-TO: Pizzeria Mozza (MAP IT, BOOK ITx). I order the “Insalata Rossa” (mixed greens, bacon, egg and pecorino) and a bacon, salami and fennel sausage pizza. It’s clean and oh, so satisfying!



CLOSET CHECK: My style is half-Japanese, half-Dutch. I love shopping at Maxfield (MAP IT, x), Barneys (MAP IT, x), Opening Ceremony (MAP IT, x)…the best place to find rare, one-of-a-kind pieces is Church Boutique on Santa Monica Blvd (MAP IT, x).

BEST HOME DÉCOR: My interior style is rare and sculptural. The Window on Melrose (MAP IT, x) is great for home accents.

BEST HOST/HOSTESS GIFTS: Reform on Melrose (MAP IT, x). 

BEAUTY BLACK BOOK: Keiko Matsuo (x)— she’s a Japanese healing masseuse that transports you to another world.

FIT PICK: Surfing is my favorite method for working out. When I can’t do that, I usually take a jog around my neighborhood; I like an outdoor routine where you see trees and breathe in fresh air.

ULTIMATE LA MOMENT: Every day driving in LA… traffic! CP

Tasya’s LA

From L to R: First Row: Breakfast at Croft ; Clutch from Maxfield; Pizza at Pizzeria Mozza; Republique. Second Row: Republique; Cinnamon Buns at Cafe Stella; LACMA; Bags from The Opening Room.

From L to R: First Row: Breakfast at Croft; Clutch from Maxfield; Pizza at Pizzeria Mozza; The Ivy. Second Row: Republique; Cinnamon buns at Cafe Stella; LACMA; Bags at Barneys.


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